The Vulcan statue looking down from a tower atop Red Mountain reflects Birmingham's industrial past. The Roman god of the forge seems to look forward to the future, over a city that is home to a growing number of Fortune 500 companies. An initial growth, which rose on the city’s natural resources -- coal, limestone and iron ore -- all used in the production of steel, led way to commentators nicknaming Birmingham, "The Magic City." More recently, banking, telecommunication, and construction have contributed to Birmingham's $48.1 billion combined personal income.
Home to the Alabama Ballet and the Alabama Symphony Orchestra, along with numerous art galleries and eateries, downtown Birmingham is experiencing a cultural and economic rejuvenation. A $55 million "Uptown" district sports several upscale restaurants and hotels. In fact, the flashy dance floor in The Club, a unique members-only club established in 1951, provided inspiration for director John Badham's Saturday Night Fever. Somewhat reminiscent of Prohibition-era philandering, "The Magic City" hosts hundreds of highly rated speakeasies. Harkening back to a 1920's glam, customers will find an array of secret bars creatively hidden throughout the entertainment districts.
Expect long summers and short winters. The best time of year for warm-weather activities is from early June to late October.
Arts and Culture
From small galleries displaying unique exhibits to neighboring theaters, visitors are encouraged to explore the arts from the local and international perspective, all while enjoying the laid-back Alabama culture.
Unpakt’s Most Recommended
Railroad Park (1600 1st Ave S)
An inner-city green space designed for people of all ages to enjoy. Hosts a charming café and skate park, perfect for family visits.
Saw's Soul Kitchen (215 41st St S)
Promising great soul food, Saw's doesn’t disappoint. Humble restaurant serving delicious Southern eats.
Silvertron Café (3813 Clairmont Ave)
Winner of the "Taste of Birmingham" for its white chocolate bread pudding, Silverton Café has been serving the public for more than 30 years.
Riverchase Galleria (2000 Riverchase Galleria)
Known by locals as The Galleria, it is the 43rd largest shopping mall in the United States. Hosting more than 200 stores, there is something for everyone.
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